message from swallow lady to Garth re:swallows. (Below is a link to the article where Garth wrote an article / comment http://birdtablenews.com/2009/09/recording-swallow-numbers/ )
Your observations match mine completely.our swallows(now in 16th year)always nest up on the eaves in a messy sort of garage.
they fly in through a little open window.
last year was our best ever with approx. 30 fledglings. 3 concurrent nests with 4 chicks each,and then 2 further sequences. Big Daddy with the longest forks sings to me sitting on the Sky dish when I garden.I think that’s his right as he owns the sky.We live in Wales +have a cattle opposite so lots of flies..
The house martins are very different +make the nest under eaves outside with lots of mud +produce lots of darker mess cf. the white from swallows!
I,m not” official,recorder” just a swallow lover.I do read the BTO website though.
No I don’t mean Cuckoos
I’ve just heard of an account of blackbirds feeding robin nestlings
Two blackbirds built a nest near to a robins nest. The robins nest was a nest box and it had a front opening.
There were 4 eggs in the robins nest and all hatched. The robins were fed by their parents and all was well.
One morning the cock blackbird was seen carrying insects in its beak – the blackbird flew to the robins nest. Clinging to the robins’ nest box the blackbird fed the insects to the young robins.
Amazing. This happened more than once. In fact it was seen that the robins had left the nest. The robin chicks were fed by the blackbird.
At night time the blackbird flew and clung to the nest box opening. This would have been to shelter the young robins.
The young robins did fledge and the blackbird was seen feeding them for a day or two. I don’t know if the young robins did survive.
The blackbird eggs then hatched and the blackbirds went on to rear their own brood
The person who witnessed this is so lucky to have seen this happening in front of them in their garden.
So as well as bird eating bird – birds do care for other birds as well.